“Green Card” Lottery Scams

by Nicole Vincent, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

The results for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery are now available at dvlottery.state.gov.

That’s good news for people who are hoping to become “lawful permanent residents” in the US (sometimes referred to as “getting a green card”).

But it’s also a good opportunity for scammers to try to confuse hopeful applicants.

If you’ve entered the diversity visa lottery, don’t be fooled by emails that say you’ve won, or that ask you to send money to claim your spot.

The truth is, the only way to check the status of your application is to visit dvlottery.state.gov. If you get an email or letter from someone telling you that you won, it’s a scam.

If your entry is selected, you’ll have to pay an application fee to the US Embassy or Consulate Cashier, but only when you go for your scheduled appointment. The US government will never ask you to send money in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.

If you want to know more about the rules of the diversity visa lottery, check out this video. Link to Watch the Video: http://bcove.me/n9hzjm3e

If you suspect you’ve been contacted by a scam artist, please report your experience to the FTC.

The complete article can be read or printed online at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/green-card-lottery-scams